How To Heal Your Loneliness.



“To transform the emptiness of loneliness to the fullness of aloneness. Ah, that is the secret of life.”   ~Sunita Khosla


We all know what loneliness feels like.
And each of us perceives this in our own unique way. Some equate loneliness with being alone. But while both offer opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth, loneliness is suffering, and solitude of itself is simply being alone and need not involve a state of loneliness.


Loneliness involves a sense of loss and/or separation, and may come from many sources: loss of a loved one, the empty nest, illness, isolation, rejection, a major move to a strange place, etc. A shy person may lack social skills, and becomes isolated and lonely. Maybe you’ve always been lonely, and you don’t know why. It just feels like a piece of your heart is missing. For some people, loneliness is the result of a childhood experience that left them unloved and alone.

When I was 6 years old, my father died, and it left a hole in my heart that was filled with loneliness. For most of my life I fought it. But that only strengthened its presence until, with help, I was finally able to let it go. I’ll always miss my father, but I no longer feel that deep pain I lived with for so many years.

Involvement with others is the single most important factor influencing our health, well being, and happiness. We humans have a strong need to experience personal connections. And any type of isolation causes psychological problems like fear, abandonment, loneliness, etc. And reaching out becomes more difficult. In our present world, advanced technology greatly reduces meaningful interactions with others. People become attached to their hand held devicesthat provide only written words without a voice to communicate. This situation has become the norm, but it can lead to a senseof isolation with less time, or inclination, for really meaningful relationships.

“No other form of communication is as universally understood as touch. The compassionate touch of a hand or a reassuring hug can take away our fears, soothe our anxieties, and fill the emptiness of being lonely.”  ~Randi G. Fine

Evolutionary Psychologist Robin Dunbar speaks of healthy interactions with others, and says, “On their own, words are slippery things. It seems essential to have face-to-face interaction if you’re going to build a relationship with someone that has any meaning. You get more information from the way that someone touches you, about how they see you, and how they see the relationship between you than anything they could ever say.”

Lonely people may feel no one cares, and some give up. But there are always ways to deal with loneliness. Sometimes it can be healed…Sometimes not. But it’s always worth a conscientious try. First accept loneliness as where you are now. Then it’s no longer your enemy. And if you work toward change with intention and commitment, it can bring a letting go of limiting beliefs, and lead to freedom and purpose in your life.

We need to communicate our thoughts and feelings, so find someone who’s willing to listen. If you don’t know a listener, see a clergy in your place of worship. Don’t have one? Then get one. They have good hugs there too. Otherwise find a counselor. But no matter how you feel, reach out to a few trusted people and start communicating. Even a pleasant hello is a good start.

Go within and talk to your loneliness.Search for answers, and Clarify the cause of your lonely feelings. Did you experience a loss? Is it from your childhood? And is there a situation you have power to change? If so,devise a plan with intention and commitment. If not, soothe your inner child’s pain, and continue inner work with patience and faith for healing. And ask yourself what you can learn and how you can grow from this experience.

When you’re ready, affirm your strength and give loneliness permission to leave. Bless it with peace, and replace it with a period of solitude where you can communicate with Spirit. You’ve never been separated from this inner love and comfort, and it will sustain you now. Then reach out to others with love from your heart. And allow yourself to receive love. Loneliness will have nowhere to live, and it will leave you. And you will find peace.

I wish you freedom to be your beautiful self.

Marilyn Fowler, Self-Help Author, and Writer ~  “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country available now on Amazon online.

 

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Staying Sane In Stressful Situations.

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I’ve heard that problems come in threes, and I recently had my three. First I was ready to copy an important paper, but my printer was out of ink. Okay. Get more ink. But I forgot how to insert a new ink cartridge. So I got out the manual, studied, and did it right. That wasn’t so hard after all.

Then feeling smug about my first ordeal, the second one appeared. My land phone had been giving me less and less time to talk before it beeped and then cut me off. Finally, it just died. I know about people, but I’m a dummy with mechanical stuff, so I got out the manual. Manuals are so smart. They know everything. Well, I learned that phones need new batteries. Duh. So I got a new battery and solved that problem.

Then my third challenge came when my A/C wasn’t putting out cold air. Now that was really out of my league, and I couldn’t remember if I ever had a manual to solve that one. I figured a repair person wouldn’t need a manual, but they can be expensive. However, sweat running down my back convinced me there was no other way. So I called a brilliant repair person, then sat under the cool air reassuring myself that it was worth every penny.

By now I was sick of feeling stressed out solving problems, one after another. I know what to do with stress, how to manage it, or even eliminate it, but that’s hard to do when you’re in the midst of a crisis. I realize those weren’t big crises, but don’t they seem like giants when you’re confronted with them, especially when you’re one manual short? I envy people who can keep their sanity even when vultures are descending to eat their young. We could take a lesson from them. The people, not the vultures.

So now I’m retrieving my little Mental Stress Manual to remind me to pay attention the next time stress attacks me. I’ve been through some biggies in my life. Handled some well, some not so well. And if you ignore stress or don’t know it’s there, it can really do a number on you. You just gotta be prepared.

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So here’s how my little Mental Stress Manual says to handle stress in any situation. You have to catch the stress before it gets full blown because full-blown is too late. Right before you feel the stress, you’ll feel a very subtle knot in your stomach. Sometimes a knot in your belly is from something you ate, but with stress, it can come from something you’re thinking about. On the outside it can come from another person and/or situation. And it depends upon how you’re responding.

Do you feel capable to handle whatever’s happening? Or are you caught up in pangs of concern over the happening? If it’s the latter, and you feel that knot, you better get busy with your stress obliteration technique. It’s a monster if you let it get out of hand. And it’s a lot more difficult to solve a problem when you’re stressed out. You can begin with a few deep breaths to get you on the right track.

“One of the best lessons you can learn in life is to master how to remain calm.” ~Catherine Pulsifer

 

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1. Identify the beginning of stress (the knot) and talk to it. “Hello. I know you well, and I want you to know that I’m not at all afraid of you. I decree that no matter what you do, you have no power over me. You’re no more than a fly on a horse’s rump. And I’m the horse. I have the power to handle any situation in a calm, peaceful way, which I intend to do. So you might as well leave now.”

2. Whether the situation is internal or external, picture an image of something that represents peace to you. ie A dove, a white aura, angels, balloons floating in the air, a beautiful sunrise, whatever has meaning for you. And associate with that peaceful feeling as the stress loses its power, or better yet, doesn’t even materialize.

3. Express gratitude. No matter what the result, express gratitude. 

The more you do this, the more effective it becomes. And if you forget, like I did, you can even create your own Mental Stress Manual and start over. Stress can be a stubborn critter, but you can be stubborn-er, and turn it off. And you become stronger with each experience.

I wish you peaceful encounters in your life.

Marilyn Fowler, Self-Help Author, and Writer ~  “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country available now on Amazon online.

 

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How To Let Anger Work For You. Part 1.   It Can Be Done.

How To Let Anger Work For You. Part 1. It Can Be Done.

Dear Readers, Today we’re living in an angry world, and some of it can rub off on us causing discomfort, even pain. But anger doesn’t have to be a bad thing when you understand it and know how to make it work for you. In the past, I published a blog post on that subject, and would now like to share it again.

Hopefully, it will turn some jangled nerves to more heartfelt peace …

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“At the core of all anger is a need that is not being fulfilled.”  ~Marshall B. Rosenberg

The pot of spaghetti slammed into the wall, and I watched my supper run down onto my clean kitchen floor. I stomped my feet in it, and then got a hammer and a box of nails to repair the backdoor screen through which I’d just thrown a chair. I already needed to buy a new lamp. The one I threw across the room last week was beyond repair.

That was me–way too often–for too many years when repressed anger broke down the dam and gushed through with a mighty force. I know about anger. When I was a child, I was forbidden to show anger. But it had to go somewhere, so it seethed inside, waiting until I became an adult and could let it out, uncontrolled and very painful.

Anger is a complex critter. When projected outward, it becomes destructive, sometimes even lethal. It can ruin relationships, careers, even property, as in my outbursts toward whatever inanimate object was within my reach when the monster reared up inside. Society tells us we shouldn’t get angry, and if we do, we should just suck it up. As if stuffing it down somewhere inside is going to dissolve it. But when anger is repressed, it can cause ulcers, blood pressure imbalance, heart disease, any number of illnesses. On my 30th birthday, I vowed to never have another angry tantrum. And I didn’t. But then my anger turned inward and caused severe depression.

According to Marion Ross in her book, ‘Removing Your Mask’, anger is a specific form of fear at a very deep level, and most anger shows that people’s internal and external realities are not in balance. The real message of anger is almost always about one’s own beliefs, perceptions, or actions in a given situation or with particular people, not the situations or people themselves. P 194-195.

“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.” ~Eckhart Tolle

So what causes anger? Where are you hurting?

 

Sometimes repressed anger will surface without a conscious reason. But anger is often your response to a thought, idea or belief that you or others are being treated unfairly or threatened by someone or something–look what they’re doing to me, or that other person–or that you’ve fallen short of your standards for yourself–I’m so stupid. I should have done better. These perceptions may be associated with self-esteem issues, needing to feel secure and safe, your own imperfection, loss of something in your life, your sense of caring for others, or something as simple as a need to be right. For some, being wrong means invalidation of self, but being right provides a false sense of power.

When a situation arouses an inner fear, you may perceive anger as a way to deal with a situation, sometimes just to let off steam like throwing a chair through a screen door. Some of your perceptions may be accurate, but lashing out in anger is not the answer. Anger is a natural human emotion, and it can kill you or save your life, depending on how you use it. But you must use it wisely for it to work for you instead of against you.

Next week in Part 2, I’ll go into some ways to tame the tiger and put you in control, ways to allow it to help heal your fears and grow in truth.

I wish you a peaceful week.

Marilyn Fowler, Author “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country available now on Amazon online.

 

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The Many Faces Of Change And How They Affect Your Life.


Recently I was sitting outside watching leaves fall from the big oak trees, and I saw the first blossoms on my camellia bushes revel in the sunshine. A baby lizard ran behind the patio chair, and I heard birds talking bird language celebrating our early spring. I live in Florida, and we never know when an unpredictable weather change will arrive. So we go with the flow and welcome the beautiful change when it comes.

As I watched this change unfolding in nature, I thought about our own lives and the positive and negative changes we experience all the time. When life is going good, we coast along in the ‘status quo’ and don’t want anything to rock our boat. Then there are times we pray for or initiate a change to move us out of the mess we’re in. Change is a law of the universe. Things are always moving, repositioning, increasing and decreasing, or taking a different form. And nothing stands still.

“There are two types of change: the change we choose and the change that chooses us.”  ~ Linda Ellerbee

Some changes are so subtle we don’t even notice them happening. In the midst of a dull brain fog, I may notice a tremendous idea that quietly crept in. Or I’m amazed at how quickly dust accumulates on the furniture. It wasn’t there yesterday. But other devastating changes may hit suddenly, and these can affect our health, work, finances, relationships, any part of our life. Sometimes we have options, and we can choose what we want to change. But other times we’re forced to accept what we don’t want. And that’s life.

Changes may be easy or difficult, but either way, you could run into some inner obstacles. With a commitment to release something and create something new, you may feel overwhelmedHow can you let go of what’s familiar and learn a new way? Or maybe you cling to an uncomfortable situation because you fear the unknown. And resistance sets in. Or you might experience the loss of someone or something good in your life, and you have to make painful changes to adjust.

In the waves of change, we find our true direction.” ~ Unknown 

Change is inevitable, sometimes with unpredictable outcomes. We’re constantly being moved along our path with no two moments the same, and we can’t live in our status quo for long. Life is about growth, and we can’t grow with our feet in mud from the last rain. The new rain has new puddles. Maybe it’s time for new puddles.

“All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you.” ~Octavia Butler

Examine various issues in your life, maybe feelings, an attitude, a situation. Observe the bigger picture of yourself and your life, and imagine how you want it to be. Then decide if you’d like to release something, change for the better, or create something new. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed, afraid to change, or resistant to it. Everything you need is within you, and awareness supplies courage to make changes you might want. And if you feel now that your status quo is fine with you, just love yourself and be prepared for changes in the future. Remember change is inevitable.

Recently I came across a poem I’ve had for many years, and it reminds me of changes I’ve experienced in my life. The poem is quite revealing.

 CHANGE
I have resisted change with all my will,
Cried out to life, “Pass by and leave me still.”
But I have found as I have trudged time’s track
That all my wishing will not hold life back.
All finite things must go their finite way;
I cannot bid the merest moment, “Stay.”
So finding that I have no power to change
Change, I have changed myself. And this is strange.
But I have found out when I let change come,
The very change that I was fleeing from
Has often held the good I prayed for,
And I was not the less for change, but more.
Once I accepted life and was not loath

To change, I found change was the seed of growth.


I wish you a happy life filled with wonderful surprises.

Author, Marilyn Fowler


 

Thank You, Readers, Friends, and All My Wonderful Self-Help Visitors!

Thank You, Readers, Friends, and All My Wonderful Self-Help Visitors!

Hello, and Welcome Everyone!

I wanted to take a few moments before I put my next post up to say; “THANK YOU!”  I reached a new milestone here on my WordPress blog of 500+ LIKES and I could not be more HAPPY about that. I know it is mainly because of all of YOU who have taken the time out of your day to come visit, read and YOU made this happen. It does make me feel good to know that I am hopefully helping others live a full and happy life with the “Ole Wisdom” this 80+ something woman has gained through the years!

I do enjoy sharing my thoughts, hope, and life experiences with you. I do love reading others as we all share together, it seems to make this world a little more kind and we all move forward in a positive direction together.  So please don’t be afraid to voice your comments as I do enjoy them.

I wish you much peace, love, and LIGHT… Marilyn

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Author, Marilyn Fowler

 
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Move Your Mountains And Find More Of Yourself…

Hello and Welcome All,

I apologize for this article being late, but I just came through a mountain of my own, and it took a while to catch up. I hope you enjoy this reading. Maybe it will sound familiar.

Many blessings to all.

“You are not IN the mountains. The mountains are in YOU.”  ~John Muir

Life is a series of the good times that warm our heart and put a smile on our face, or times so painful we wonder if we’ll survive, and all those in-between times we call routine. We hope for the good ones, but sometimes we’re faced with sudden challenges that knock us off our routine path. Each of us is on our own unique journey, and whatever is on one path may not be on another. we never know what each tomorrow will bring. But we’re all faced with something, some time. And we all have our mountains to move.

Pain comes on many levels. Some situations nullify your plans like when you’re ready for work and your car has a flat, or you receive notice you didn’t pay your mortgage, or you forget to register your kid for summer day camp, etc. Others can mean life-shattering devastation like sudden illness, loss of a job, a death of a loved one, financial loss, the list goes on. Some experiences are extremely hard while others seem less demanding, but whatever the severity, life pushes us to learn and grow from each experience.

How do you respond when a challenge hits? Maybe the first thought is to panic with a ‘what if’ attitude. What if I’m late for work; what if this ruins my credit; what if my kid thinks I forgot because I don’t care. Or more serious, what if I don’t get well; what if I can’t find another job; what if I can’t find peace; what if I lose everything. Our attention is usually so turned toward the outside, we often don’t listen to what’s going on inside. Are you thinking fear, lack, I can’t do it, or any other defeating notion? These thoughts may be your biggest mountains, and only you can move them.

“When you focus on faith rather than fear, you tap into a strength to carry you over even the tallest mountains.” ~ Gail Lynne Goodwin

Challenges in our life are teaching experiences, and every mountain serves a purpose. They present opportunities to discover something we need on our journey. And they help us realize our strength in overcoming. Turn your mind from fear to faith, and deny that any self-defeating beliefs have power over you. Then replace them with the truth. “There is nothing to fear, I have everything I need, I have faith in the Power within to move mountains, and I have faith in myself to be guided and strengthened. I can do it.” Give these ideas positive energy, and they will manifest in positive ways.

As you build on your faith, move away from worries, and move toward a solution. Step back, and gauge the size of the mountain you’re facing. There’s a saying, “Don’t make mountains out of molehills.” How big is your mountain really? It might be just a little hill to step over. Size up the mountain, and create a plan. Ask, “How big is it, and what can I do about it? What are the consequences if I can’t fix it? Where can I find help if I need it?” Etc. Accept where you are, and voice your intention to move forward.

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ~Confucius

Don’t feel like you have to hurry through this. Someone once told me that when you’re working with a life challenge, remember it’s a process, and you have to allow it to unfold in its time, as you’re doing what’s yours to do. She also said that each time we overcome a challenge, something inside changes, and we’re better for it. So take the time you need to move your mountain, and welcome the change within yourself.

“For every mountain, there is a miracle.”   ~Robert H. Schuller

Moving mountains isn’t easy. It takes practice and patience, knowing that each overcoming moves you closer to being more of what you’re meant to be. And if there’s something you can’t get past right now, it’s okay. You haven’t failed. Celebrate the mountains you’ve moved, and be grateful for those you haven’t. They’re part of your journey and will serve a purpose. Their time will come. And you are blessed.

I wish you the freedom to discover more of you.

Marilyn Fowler, Author “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country available now on Amazon online.

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Finding Your Answers In Nostalgia and In A New Year.

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“Sometimes you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.” ~Yvonne Woon

As we think of the year ahead, we remember last year and what we want to bring with us and what we want to leave behind…and how many times we’ve made that same transition. Maybe we realize our minds and hearts are not time bound.All the years are connected, and nostalgia takes us back to years past, other times, people, and places. We may begin a new journey, but our past is part of us. And from time to time we cross the bridge to yesterday.

It’s one thing to remember an experience, but another to relive your thoughts and feelings from that experience. The word ‘nostalgia’ explains this phenomenon. Merriam-Webster describes homesickness, a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to some past period or irrecoverable condition. Cambridge English Dictionary says a feeling of pleasure and sometimes sadness at the same time as you think about things that happened in the past. A bittersweet yearning for a past experience.

“Looking back and learning will enable you to move forward.” ~Eileen Brown

Many times I’ve heard it said, “Don’t look back. If you look back, you can’t move forward. Leave it all back there, and move on.” That attitude may be feasible in some situations. But I don’t believe it’s generally workable, because many of your decisions today are based on something you learned in your past. Every day is preparation for the next one.

Nostalgia can serve a purpose in your life with opportunities to reach forgotten parts of you, maybe parts you need to feel again. In the nostalgic state, you can re-experience happiness from other times, or share again with loved ones, or re-visit childhood laughter that releases current burdens and stress. Or your nostalgic experiences might furnish a second chance to correct past mistakes when you fell short of intentions, or you failed to say kind words someone needed to hear, or you haven’t forgiven someone…or yourself. Or you might learn more about dealing with bittersweet experiences when they fill your heart with sadness.

These are not just memories. You feel every second of nostalgic experiences. Pain lies in wanting to go back, see people and places again, be in what you may feel was a better place. You smile and yearn to relive the happy times. You cry and long to hug those who are gone. You may think of ways to correct your mistakes. And you realize that yesterday is as much a part of your life as is tomorrow. It all belongs on your journey.

As I’ve grown older, I find I miss the old times more. I remember an Alaskan cruise with dear friends, a cross-country trip with my best buddy who is gone now, dancing to exhaustion, jumping into a pool from the high diving board with all my clothes on, and holding my sides with laughter at a friend’s silly joke. I also remember seeing my mother right after she died, and saying words to her I wished I’d said sooner. And other sad times that bring tears. But even happy ones can be bittersweet, because they’re gone. But re-visit is what our minds do.

“When you finally go back to your old home, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood.” ~Sam Ewing

Sometimes what we think we’re missing is not really what we’re missing. For instance, your longing for your childhood home may create quite a surprise. You hear it’s empty now, so you return and tour the house. But as you move around inside, what captures your attention is not the house at all, but the childhood you’re missing. This actually happened to me, and when I found my old house, my heart ached remembering and missing that child and the family who shared the home.

Yes, your past is part of your present and your future. Where you’ve been, helps you decide where you want to go. And periods of nostalgia bring it all together. The happy, the sad, and the lessons teach us along the way. And we’re better for it.

I wish you memories you’ll want to look back on.

Marilyn Fowler, Author “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country available now on Amazon online.

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I’m a retired Licensed Clinical Social